When Randy Moss announced back in 2011 that he was going to retire from the NFL, few believed that it would actually last.
Well, on Monday, during his 35th
birthday celebration, Moss abruptly ended his short retirement by proclaiming that he intends on making a comeback.
“I just wanna go to a team and play some football,” Moss said on a Ustream.tv live video. "Your boy is going to come back here and play some football, so I'm really excited. I had some things I had to adjust in my life."
Moss asserts that he originally called it quits because of factors unrelated to football, but that he has now received his family’s blessing to come out of retirement. With their support, he’s decided to make his services available to any team that may be interested.
The news has been met with mixed responses. There are some that believe Moss can still be a key contributor on a team contending for a Super Bowl. Then there are those that believe he should have just stayed retired. He didn’t do much during his last year in the league, so why would anyone want to take a chance on him now that he’s been out of action for a full season?
His agent, Joel Segal, wouldn’t go into details about his client’s possible suitors, but said that Moss is looking forward to getting back out on the field.
"Randy and I have discussed it," Segal said. "He still has his fire and he's looking forward to playing football. He's excited."
A re-focused and re-motivated Randy Moss certainly sounds appealing, but how much does he really have left in the tank?
Another receiver who has been making headlines recently is Terrell Owens. He is currently a member of the IFL’s Allen Wranglers, but has been quoted as saying that he believes he is still an elite receiver capable of producing the same numbers he had earlier in his career.
Whether Moss or T.O. can ever return to their old form is highly unlikely, but perhaps a team that is one or two playmakers away from making a title run should take a chance on them. At the very least, their name recognition should be able to draw in some extra fans.
Which begs the question: As of right now, who would you rather have? Randy Moss or Terrell Owens?
On the one hand, Moss (35) is younger than Owens (38), so anyone picking him up could probably still get at least a couple productive years out of his 6’4”, 210 lb. frame. He also isn’t coming off two major knee surgeries like Owens, which may make a team less hesitant about signing him to a short-term deal.
But, if you compare their numbers in their last NFL season, T.O. seems like the much more attractive option.
During his tumultuous 2010 campaign, Moss was traded by the Patriots back to Minnesota, released by the Vikings shortly thereafter, and eventually picked up by the Titans. He recorded career lows of 28 catches for 393 yards and five TDs that season. In Cincy, Owens caught 72 balls for 983 yards and nine TDs during his one-and-done stint with the Bengals.
Historically, Owens has the better numbers as well. When it comes to touchdown receptions, both are tied for second on the all-time list with 153. Moss is fifth in yards (14,858) and ninth in receptions (954). His 29 touchdowns of at least 50 or more yards are second only to the great Jerry Rice (36). Owens is second in yards (15,934) and sixth in receptions (1,078). He also holds the record for the most TDs (10) by an NFL receiver at the age of 35, a mark he set during his 2008 season with the Dallas Cowboys. So, if Moss does get signed in 2012, that should give him something to shoot for.
If it were up to me, I would probably go with Moss. I know that T.O.’s got the better career numbers, but he’s also got a surgically repaired knee that isn’t guaranteed to hold up through a 16-game NFL season. I also feel that if Moss finds the right fit and actually gives a valiant effort every time he takes the field, he’s still a great enough athlete that he could be a valuable asset for a team lacking in the wide receiver department.
Both players have major character flaws stemming from their massive egos, but if we're only looking at things from a football perspective, I feel like Moss can give you more because of his age and health.
Regardless of what happens, the Freak's announcement that he’s planning a comeback should make for a very interesting offseason.